The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has challenged the Loyalist Communities Council (LCC) to publicly condemn recent violence across the region.
Brandon Lewis was speaking after a week of unrest in mainly loyalist areas.
He said “words failed him” at the idea of adults encouraging a 13-year-old to engage in some of the violent scenes seen across the region in recent days.
Mr Lewis said the right thing for the LCC to do would be to come out and be very clear that they were against violence.
“There is a proper political process and they have been clear that violence in the past is not the way to move forward and they need to be clear about that again,” he said.
“As human beings, we would all like to see a situation where we do not have criminal gangs and adults encouraging children and young people to throw away their opportunities by getting involved in thuggery and hooliganism.
“Words fail me for what goes through an adult’s mind to encourage a 13-year-old kid to behave that way.
“We have all got a duty to call that out, including the LCC.”